small electric sailboat

16 Great Small Boats With Electric Motors (With Examples)

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Did you know you don’t have to choose a boat that relies on fossil fuels? That’s right.

You can go full electric, full solar, or a hybrid between the two!

Here are some great boats with electric motors to get you started!

Table of Contents

If you’re in the market for a small boat, there’s a whole ocean of choices out there for you.

1. Aquawatt 550 Elliniko

small electric sailboat

The Aquawatt 550 Elliniko isn’t the fastest boat on the planet, only reaching speeds up to 20 mph. This is the case with most electric boats, it seems, but it’s a small price to pay to save the environment (and your wallet, considering today’s gas prices).

Despite the slower speeds as compared with combustible motors, the Aquawatt 550 Elliniko is as reliable as a gasoline-powered vessel.

It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a day of leisure on the water.

The Elliniko also has plenty of storage and passenger space. The navigation cockpit boasts of a large center console for the captain and there’s a removable mattress in the bow area. There’s a self-draining anchor locker in this area as well. There are also four watertight lockers available for extra sleeping bags, first aid, or other provisions.

Considering Speed

Twenty miles per hour isn’t actually all that slow when compared to most electric boats on the market today, to be fair. Is it a lot slower than traditional combustible engines that use gasoline? Absolutely.

But the Elliniko is one of the fastest electric boats available to the public at the moment.

The fastest electric boat in the world right now is the SAY29E Runabout Carbon with a top speed of a full 50 knots (93 miles per hour). They are preparing to start building for series production now, but it isn’t available for purchase yet.

  • Passengers: 6 person
  • Weight: 1433 – 1654
  • Battery: Lithium ION 80 V 160/200 Ah

2. Aquawatt RIB

small electric sailboat

If you want to go a little faster than the last model’s 20 miles per hour, then take the Aquawatt RIB for a 30 miles per hour spin. It’s an inflatable electric boat with a stylish and durable fiberglass bottom. This means that transporting this boat from your home to the dock should be a lot easier on your back than a tradition non-inflatable vessel.

The Aquawatt RIB is an amazing electric boat for recreational days on the water, especially if you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint! It can handle four to six adult passengers, so it’s perfect for family outings. There’s nothing quite like a picnic on the water to create some great memories with your children or spouse.

Of course, this is also a wonderful option for someone who likes to have the occasional cocktail party with friends or coworkers out on the harbor.

This boat could quickly be a great opportunity to network with colleagues or clients, helping you to build working relationships steeped in fun memories!

There are three different models of the electric Aquawatt RIB.

You can buy them in 12-foot hulls, 14-foot hulls, or 16-foot hulls. Choose the model that best suits your needs. Are you thinking you might need less room, as it will usually only be you and/or your family on the boat? Or do you think you might want to bring a family friend or two?

Maybe you might want to host a small party every so often?

  • Passengers: 4-6 persons
  • Weight: Depending on model
  • Battery: Lithium ION 80 V 160 Ah

3. Duffy 18’ Snug Harbor

small electric sailboat

This electric-powered boat can seat a full eleven passengers, which means this is the electric boat you want to take out for a nice party on the water.

Its top speed is only 6 mph, however, so make sure if you go far, you allow yourself enough time to get back to shore if you have other appointments that day.

At cruising speed, this vessel’s battery will last a full seven and a half hours! At top speed, it dips to three and a half hours, however. Keep this in mind while you’re on the water and make sure to conserve your battery.

The total distance that you can travel on this battery power is about 17 miles.

Considering the battery life and the speed, this electric boat would probably be best used on a small lake or large pond on your property. Even using it in a harbor where the coast is never far from view would be advisable. This isn’t a boat you want to take on long, harrowing journeys to discover new worlds, but a boat to enjoy the sun reflecting off the water as you laugh and joke with friends and family.

It’s called “Snug Harbor” for more than one reason.

This vessel has a full enclosure of windows and a very small deck, so don’t think you’ll be using this for a lot of sunbathing (unless you want to try sunbathing through the windows). The good thing about this is that it makes it easy to enjoy your boat in the warmer or colder months, during rainy days or windy ways, because the elements can’t reach you with their full force anymore.

This is truly an all-seasons kind of vessel!

  • Length: 18′ – 5″
  • Passengers: 11 persons
  • Top Speed: 6.0 MPH
  • Running Time:
  • @Cruising Speed: 7.5 hours
  • @Top Speed: 3.5 hours

4. Duffy 22’ Bay Island

small electric sailboat

This model from Duffy has the most interior space than any of its other models, which means that it would be excellent for overnight camping trips on the water! Wonder why it’s called the Bay Island? Because it’s got a full window enclosure big enough for twelve people! This keeps you shielded from the weather while also giving you a full 360-degree visibility.

It’s exactly like having your very own island out on the water.

Unlike the previous Duffy model we discussed, the Bay Island has an even greater battery life! You not only get to take an extra passenger along for the ride if you like, but you also get almost double the battery life at cruising and top speeds!

You’ll be able to take this model out of view of the coastline without as many reservations or wariness as you had with the Snug Harbor.

Having a greater battery life also means you can go a little further from the coast without needing to worry too much about being stranded with a dead battery (although all Duffy models have a gauge at the navigation station to inform you of your fuel life).

So now you can take your party a step further – literally!

This model will also allow you to use a double battery system, which would enable you to achieve greater speeds. A single battery takes a full twelve hours to recharge, so a twin system would take double that. Keep this in mind when deciding what kind of battery system you’d like with this model.

  • Length: 22′ – 0″
  • Passengers: 12 persons
  • @Cruising Speed: 12.5 hours
  • @Top Speed: 6.5 hours

5. Duffy 22’ Sun Cruiser

At first glance, this Sun Cruiser might look the same on paper to the Bay Island. It has almost all of the same features as the Bay Island, after all, right down to the hand-polished mahogany steering wheel!

However, this model actually gives you more of a deck! It’s like choosing a giant house with no yard or choosing a slightly smaller house with a patio area.

And just like when choosing a house, you have to ask yourself whether the patio is all that important to you or not. Would you rather have more house instead? Only you can answer that question.

This is a great choice for those boaters who would like to sun themselves while out on the water. Or for those who want to feel the cool sea breeze on their faces while toasting their beloved under the night stars.

Having a deck on your boat is a more pressing question than when you’re deliberating on whether to have an outdoor area in a house. After all, on land, you could just go to your local park to enjoy the open sky.

But on a boat, the only land you have is what you’ve brought along with you!

There’s also seating out on the deck, so you can move away from the rest of the party to have a private conversation if you desire. The Sun Cruiser is the place to be for romantic getaways or a full-on party. It’s all up to you!

  • Capacity: 12 Adults

11 Other Models And Hybrids To Consider

Here are some other electric boats you should check out before you make up your mind:

  • Aquawatt inboard models with solar power
  • Nautic Expo center consoles
  • Nautic Expo runabout boats
  • Nautic Expo cabin boats
  • The Frauscher Mirage 740 Air
  • The Q Yachts Q30 tender
  • The X Shore Electric Boats (Called “The Tesla of the sea)
  • The Rand Picnic boats
  • The Rand Supreme boats
  • The Rand Leisure boats 

There are plenty of electric boats to choose from on the market today, but the trade-off you encounter compared to gas-powered boats is speed.

In the not-so-far-off future, this issue looks as though it will be resolved, however, and boaters will no longer have to choose between speed and reducing their carbon footprint.

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What To Look for When Purchasing a Small Electric Boat

Outboard Motor Boat

  • 1 Range and Battery Capacity
  • 2 Charging Infrastructure
  • 3 Boat Design and Construction
  • 4 Motor Performance
  • 5 Noise Level
  • 6 Cost of Ownership
  • 7 Manufacturer Reputation and Support
  • 8 Environmental Impact
  • 9 Size and Storage
  • 10 Features and Amenities
  • 11 Conclusion

Related Posts

As the world sets sail towards a more sustainable future, the allure of electric vehicles extends beyond roads and highways to encompass waterways and lakes. Small electric boats have emerged as a captivating solution for environmentally-conscious boating enthusiasts. Their whisper-quiet operation, lack of emissions, and harmonious coexistence with nature make them appealing.

However, with a burgeoning market offering various options, it’s crucial to embark on your electric boat journey with a compass of knowledge. In this guide, we’ll chart the course through key considerations such as range, charging infrastructure, design, motor performance, noise levels, and more to help you navigate the waters of purchasing a small electric boat that aligns with both your boating aspirations and sustainable values.

Range and Battery Capacity

Just like with electric cars, the range of a small electric boat is a vital consideration. The range refers to the distance the boat can travel on a single battery charge. Determining the range you require is important based on your intended use. If you plan on short leisurely trips, a boat with a lower range might suffice. However, if you intend to use the boat for longer journeys or fishing trips, opting for a model with a higher range is advisable. Consider the battery capacity as well, as a larger one will typically translate to a longer range.

Charging Infrastructure

Electric boats rely on battery power, so having access to a reliable and convenient charging infrastructure is essential. Look into whether the boat has a charging station, solar panels for boats , or if you’ll need to find public charging docks. Also, consider the charging time. How long does it take to fully charge the battery? Faster charging can significantly enhance the usability of your boat.

Boat Design and Construction

The design and construction of the boat play a significant role in its performance and durability. Opt for a boat with a hull shape that suits your intended activities — cruising, fishing, or water sports. The boat’s materials should be durable and corrosion-resistant since electric boats tend to have fewer moving parts than traditional boats. This can contribute to lower maintenance requirements and longer overall lifespan.

Motor Performance

The motor is the heart of an electric boat, so evaluating its performance is crucial. Consider factors like horsepower, torque, and thrust. A higher horsepower motor will offer better acceleration and speed, while higher torque ensures smoother operation. The thrust propels the boat forward, so ensure it’s sufficient for your intended activities.

Noise Level

One of the major advantages of electric boats is their quiet operation. However, not all electric boats are equally noiseless. Test the boat’s noise level when running to ensure it meets your expectations for tranquility on the water. This is particularly important if you use the boat for wildlife observation or in serene natural environments.

Cost of Ownership

The initial cost of purchasing an electric boat is just one part of the equation. Consider the overall ownership cost, including maintenance, charging costs, insurance, and any potential upgrades. While electric boats tend to have lower operating costs compared to traditional boats, it’s still important to factor these expenses into your decision-making process.

Manufacturer Reputation and Support

Research the manufacturer’s reputation and customer reviews. A reputable manufacturer with a history of producing reliable electric boats is more likely to offer a quality product. Additionally, consider the manufacturer’s customer support and warranty terms. A solid warranty can provide peace of mind in case any issues arise.

Environmental Impact

One of the main motivations for choosing an electric boat is its lower environmental impact than gasoline-powered boats. However, not all electric boats are equally eco-friendly. Research the boat’s overall energy efficiency and whether the manufacturer follows sustainable practices in their production. Consider the boat’s lifecycle emissions, including manufacturing, operation, and disposal.

Size and Storage

The size of the boat matters, especially if you have limited storage space or plan to transport it to different bodies of water. Smaller electric boats are generally easier to store and transport but might sacrifice some features and amenities. Find the right balance between size and the features you desire.

Features and Amenities

Finally, consider the features and amenities that come with the boat. Modern electric boats often have various technological enhancements, such as navigation systems, entertainment options, and remote control capabilities. Choose the features that align with your preferences and intended boat use.

Purchasing a small electric boat is an exciting venture that aligns with the growing shift toward sustainable transportation. By carefully considering factors such as range, charging infrastructure, design, motor performance, noise level, cost of ownership, manufacturer reputation, environmental impact, size, and features, you can make an informed decision that matches your boating aspirations while treading lightly on the environment. With the right electric boat, you can enjoy the tranquility of the waterways while minimizing your carbon footprint.

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Sail magazine review team.

SAIL Magazine Review Team reports on best-selling products in sailing and boating. SAIL Magazine is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Artificial Intelligence (large language models) may have been used in the research and creation of the content.

To ensure questions about product testing or a specific article are addressed, please contact [email protected]

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The Promises and Pitfalls of an All-Electric Yacht

  • By Tim Murphy
  • Updated: November 8, 2021

Arcona 435Z

This past October, I saw one of the most interesting exhibits in more than 500 new cruising sailboats I’ve reviewed over two decades. It was the Arcona 435Z, built in Sweden and introduced by Graham Balch of Green Yachts in San Francisco. Balch describes his business as “a new brokerage dedicated to the electric revolution on the water,” and it was the “Z” in the boat’s name, which stands for “zero emissions,” that made this boat so interesting. This was the first electric propulsion system—not hybrid but all-electric —I’d ever seen on a cruising sailboat.

Electric propulsion isn’t new. Since 1879, electric motors have propelled boats; a fleet of some four-dozen electric launches transported visitors around the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago. But cruising sailboats are not launches, and the open sea is not a protected canal. When we’re using cruising boats as they’re meant to be used, they seldom end their day plugged into a shore-power outlet. Cruising boats comprise many devices —stove, refrigerator, freezer, windlass, winches, autopilot, radar, lights—whose power typically comes from a tank of fossil fuel. And today’s cruising sailors are accustomed to using diesel auxiliary power to motor through lulls or punch into headwinds and seas.

Starting about 15 years ago, we saw a wave of diesel-electric and hybrid propulsion systems on production and custom cruising boats ( see “Perpetuated Motion,” CW , March 2005 ). Both of those systems ultimately start with an onboard internal-combustion engine. A diesel-electric propulsion system relies on a running genset to directly power the electric motor that turns the propeller. A hybrid system relies on batteries to power the electric motor, plus an internal-combustion genset to recharge the batteries. One of the promises of a hybrid system is the ability to regenerate electrical power. Regeneration means using boatspeed under sail to turn the propeller, whose spinning shaft sends electrons from the electric motor back through an electronic controller to recharge the batteries. In such a system, the boat’s propeller is both an electrical load (when running under power) and a charging source (when sailing in regeneration mode).

The Arcona 435Z was different from both of these systems: It incorporates no onboard fossil-fuel engine at all. Instead, it has a bank of lithium batteries, several solar panels, and a proprietary propulsion leg that looks like a saildrive. “This boat,” Balch said, “has the very first production unit in the world of Oceanvolt’s newest electric propulsion system, called the ServoProp.”

lithium-ion batteries

For our sea trial, Balch was joined by Derek Rupe, CEO of Oceanvolt USA. “If you can sail the boat and you have some solar, you can go anywhere in the world, and you can make all your power underway while you go,” Rupe said. When we spoke in October 2020, he touted three high-profile sailors who were using the Oceanvolt electric propulsion system: Alex Thomson, for his Hugo Boss Open 60 Vendée Globe program; Jimmy Cornell, for his Elcano 500 expedition; and Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, who had been teasing their new boat for months on their popular Sailing La Vagabonde YouTube channel.

The efficiency of Oceanvolt’s ServoProp and the regeneration from it is the promised game-changer in each of these boats. The ServoProp is a leg with a ­feathering propeller that can be set for optimal pitch in three modes: forward, reverse and regeneration.

“You don’t need fuel,” Rupe said. “You don’t need to dock; you can go anywhere you want to go and always have the power for living and propulsion.”

That’s the promise. But are there also pitfalls?

Innovation and Risk

Marine electric propulsion is an emerging technology. Compared with the mature and settled technology of diesel engines and lead-acid batteries, electric-propulsion systems—with their electronic controllers and lithium batteries—are in a stage of development best described as adolescent. Every sailor has his or her own tolerance for technical innovation. For the promise of fewer ­seconds per mile, grand-prix-racing sailors willingly trade a high risk of expensive damage to the sails, rig or the boat’s structure itself; cruising sailors, by contrast, tend to favor yearslong reliability in their equipment as they seek miles per day.

Folks who identify as early adopters take special joy in the first-wave discoveries of a new technology; if they’re clear-eyed about supporting an ongoing experiment, they see themselves as partners with the developers, accepting failures as opportunities for learning. Sailors motivated primarily by changing the trajectory of climate change might be especially willing to modify their behavior to limit their own output of greenhouse gases. Investing in any emerging technology asks you to start with a clear assessment of your own risk tolerance. We’ll return to this theme with one or two real-life examples.

Oceanvolt system

The American Boat and Yacht Council, founded in 1954, sets recommended standards for systems installed on recreational boats. For decades, ABYC has published standards related to installations of diesel and gasoline engines, as well as electrical systems based around lead-acid batteries. By contrast, it was only three years ago that ABYC came out with its first electric-propulsion standard (revised July 2021). And only last year it published its first technical-information report on lithium batteries (a technical-information report is an early step toward a future standard). The takeaway is that if you need help servicing your diesel engine or electrical system built around lead-acid batteries, you can pull into any reasonable-size port and find competent technicians to help you. With electric propulsion and lithium batteries, that pool of skilled talent is significantly scarcer.

ServoProps

To say that a technology is mature simply means that we’ve learned to live with it, warts and all, but that it holds few remaining surprises. Certainly, diesel-propulsion and lead-acid-battery technologies each leave plenty of room for improvement. When a charge of fuel ignites in the combustion ­chamber of a diesel engine, some three-quarters of the energy is lost in heat and the mechanical inefficiencies of converting reciprocating motion to rotation. Lead-acid batteries become damaged if we routinely discharge more than half of their capacity. During charging, they’re slow to take the electrons we could deliver.

Lithium batteries are comparatively full of promise. Their power density is far greater than that of lead-acid batteries, meaning they’re much lighter for a given capacity. They’re capable of being deeply discharged, which means you can use far more of the bank’s capacity, not merely the first half. And they accept a charge much more quickly; compare that to several hours a day running an engine to keep the beers iced down.

Oceanvolt motor controllers

But the pitfalls? Let’s start with ABYC TE-13, Lithium Ion Batteries. Some of its language is bracing. “Lithium ion batteries are unlike lead-acid batteries in two important respects,” the report says. “1) The electrolyte within most lithium ion batteries is flammable. 2) Under certain fault conditions, lithium ion batteries can enter a condition known as thermal runaway, which results in rapid internal heating. Once initiated, it is a self-perpetuating and exothermic reaction that can be difficult to halt.”

Thermal runaway? Difficult to halt? Self-perpetuating?

“Typically, the best approach is to remove heat as fast as possible, which is most effectively done by flooding the battery with water,” TE-13 continues, “although this may have serious consequences for the boat’s electrical systems, machinery, buoyancy, etc.”

If you were following the news in January 2013, you might remember the ­story of Japan Airlines Flight 008. Shortly after landing at Boston’s Logan Airport, a mechanic opened the aft ­electronic equipment bay of the Boeing 787-8 to find smoke and flames billowing from the auxiliary-power unit. The fire extinguisher he used didn’t put out the flames. Eventually Boston firefighters put out the fire with Halotron, but when removing the still-hissing batteries from the plane, one of the ­firefighters was burned through his ­professional protective gear.

Victron Energy Quattro

Samsung Galaxy cellphones, MacBook Pro laptops, powered skateboards—in the past decade, these and other devices have been recalled after their lithium batteries burned up. In that period, several high-end custom boats were declared a total loss following failures from lithium batteries. In March 2021, a 78-foot Norwegian hybrid-powered tour boat, built in 2019 with a 790 kW capacity battery bank, experienced thermal runaway that kept firefighters on watch for several days after the crew safely abandoned the ship.

Yes, experts are learning a lot about how to mitigate the risks around lithium batteries. But we’re still on the learning curve.

ABYC’s TE-13 “System Design” section starts, “All lithium-ion battery ­systems should have a battery ­management system (BMS) installed to prevent damage to the battery and provide for battery shutoff if potentially dangerous conditions exist.” It defines a bank’s “safe operating envelope” according to such parameters as high- and low-voltage limits, charging and discharging temperature limits, and charging and ­discharging current limits.

Graham Balch takes these safety recommendations a step further: “To our knowledge, the BMS has to monitor at the cell level. With most batteries, the BMS monitors at the module level.” The difference? “Let’s say you have 24 cells inside the battery module, and three of them stop working. Well, the other 21 have to work harder to compensate for those three. And that’s where thermal events occur.”

Balch followed the story of the Norwegian tour boat this past spring. He believes that the battery installation in that case didn’t meet waterproofing standards: “The hypothesis is that due to water intrusion, there was reverse polarity in one or more of the cells, which is worse than cells simply not working. It means that they’re actively working against the other cells. But if the BMS is monitoring only at the module level, you wouldn’t know it.”

On the Green Yachts website, Graham lists five battery manufacturers whose BMS regimes monitor at the cell level. “If I were sailing on an electric boat, whether it be commercial or recreational, I would feel comfortable with having batteries from these five companies and no other,” he said.

The broader takeaway for today’s sailors is that lithium batteries bring their own sets of problems and solutions, which are different from those of conventional propulsion and power-supply technologies. A reasonably skilled sailor could be expected to change fuel filters or bleed a diesel engine if it shuts down in rough conditions. With lithium-ion batteries aboard, an operator needs to understand the causes and remedies of thermal runaway, and be ready to respond if the BMS shuts down the boat’s power.

Real-World Electric Cruising Boats

When we met Oceanvolt’s Derek Rupe a year ago, he and his wife had taken their all-electric boat to the Bahamas and back the previous season. Before that, he’d been installing electric-propulsion packages for six years on new Alerion 41s and other refit projects. “My real passion is on the technical side of things—installations, really getting that right. That’s half the picture. The technology is there, but it needs to be installed correctly.”

When talking to Rupe, I immediately encountered my first learning curve. I posed questions about the Oceanvolt system in amps and amp-hours; he responded in watts and kilowatt-hours. This was yet another example of the different mindset sailors of electric boats need to hold. Why? Because most cruising boats have just one or two electrical systems: DC and AC. The AC system might operate at 110 or 220 volts; the DC side might operate at 12 or 24 volts. On your own boat, that voltage is a given. From there we tend to think in terms of amps needed to power a load, and amp-hours of capacity in our battery banks. Going back to basics, the power formula tells us that power (watts) equals electrical potential (volts) times current (amps). If your boat’s electrical system is 12 volts and you know that your windlass is rated at 400 watts, it follows that the windlass is rated to draw 33 amps.

But an all-electric boat might comprise several systems at different voltages. A single battery bank might supply cabin lights at 12 volts DC; winches and windlasses at 24 volts DC; the propulsion motor at 48 volts DC; and an induction stove, microwave and television at 110 volts AC. A DC-to-DC power converter steps the voltage up or down, and an inverter changes DC to AC. Instead of translating through all those systems, the Oceanvolt monitor (and Derek Rupe) simply reports in watts coming in or going out of the bank.

“We keep all our thoughts in watts,” Rupe said. “Watts count in the AC induction. They count in the DC-to-DC converter. They count the solar in. They count the hydrogeneration in. And the ­power-management systems tracks it that way for shore-power in.

“On a boat like this, maybe I have 500 watts coming in the solar panels,” he continued. “So then I can think: ‘Well, my fridge is using 90 watts. My boat has an electric stove. When I cook a big meal, I can see that for every hour we cook, we lose about 10 to 12 minutes of our cruising range.’”

During his Bahamas cruising season, Rupe observed that on days that they were sailing, the combination of solar panels and hydroregeneration supplied all the power he and his wife needed. “When we weren’t sailing,” he said, “we found that we were losing 8 percent each day, in the difference from what the sun gave us to what we were using for the fridge, lights, charging our laptops, and all that stuff.”

Rupe’s solution? “Twice in Eleuthera and once outside Major’s, we went out and sailed laps for a couple of hours because the batteries were below 30 percent of capacity. It was good sailing, and the wind was coming over the shore, so we didn’t have any sea state. We did a couple of hot laps on nice beam reaches, and generated about 700 watts an hour.”

Of the three sailors Rupe touted in October 2020—Alex Thomson, Jimmy Cornell and the Sailing La Vagabonde couple—only Cornell can report back on his all-electric experiences with Oceanvolt. Alex Thomson ended his circumnavigation abruptly last November, just 20 days after the Vendée Globe start, when Hugo Boss collided with an object in the South Atlantic. And at press time in early fall 2021, Riley and Elayna had just recently announced the build of their new Rapido trimaran; keep an eye on their YouTube channel for more about their experiences with the Oceanvolt propulsion system.

Oceanvolt ServoProp

As for Cornell—circumnavigator, World Cruising Routes author, creator of the transoceanic rally, and veteran of some 200,000 ocean miles—he suspended his planned Elcano 500 round-the-world expedition solely because of the Oceanvolt system in his new Outremer catamaran. His Aventura Zero Logs on the Cornell Sailing website, particularly the Electric Shock article posted on December 2, 2020, are essential reading for any sailor interested in sailing an electric boat. “Sailing around the world on an electric boat with zero emissions along the route of the first circumnavigation was such a tempting opportunity to do something meaningful and in tune with our concern for protecting the environment that my family agreed I should do it,” Cornell wrote. “What this passage has shown was that in spite of all our efforts to save energy, we were unable to regenerate sufficient electricity to cover consumption and top up the batteries.”

Cornell’s experience in that article is raw, and his tone in that moment bitterly disappointed. We recommend it as essential reading—not as a final rejection of the electric-boat concept or of Oceanvolt’s system, or even as an endorsement of Cornell’s own decision that the system didn’t work. I suspect that I may have arrived at the same conclusion. Yet given the same boat in the same conditions, one imagines that a new breed of sailor—a Graham Balch or a Derek Rupe—may have responded differently to the constraints imposed by an all-electric boat, as nearly every cruising sailor today habitually responds to the inconvenient constraints of diesel engines and lead-acid batteries.

“If you bring electric winches, electric heads and an induction stove, and then sail into a high-pressure system, you’ll set yourself up for failure,” Balch said. “You have to balance your power inputs and your power outputs.

“Sailing an electric boat is a return to the tradition of sailing that the crutch of a diesel engine has gotten us away from,” he added. “Magellan’s fleet got all the way around the world, and they didn’t have a diesel engine.”

Tim Murphy is a Cruising World editor-at-large and ­longtime Boat of the Year judge.

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1st WINGSAIL series production yacht in the world!

The OceanWings32 - by Ayro© - was initially developed for Team Oracle, for the America’s Cup 2010 in Valencia. Over years, it has further been developed and automated by VPLP and was installed on Energy Observer in 2019. Two years of field feedback have allowed the Ayro team to fine tune the algorithm commanding the wingsail. The ZEN50 is the first series production leisure craft to be equipped with this fully automated wingsail. It is controlled at the touch of a finger on screens, is automatically adjusted and has several safety modes and features. The two parts of the wingsail can be hoisted and lowered independently and with the simple touch of a button. The wingsail OceanWings32 is the ideal complement for the solar roof for those wishing to cruise long distances off-shore with zero-emissions.

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

Greatest ratio SOLAR POWER / weight on the market

At 17 tonnes lightweight and 18,000 W of peak solar power, the ratio of the ZEN50 is at over 1 kW per displaced tonne of water or beyond 1:1 which is far beyond any other blue water CE Cat A yacht in this size range. Lots of solar power for little water to displace is the strong and healthy foundation the energy self-sufficient ZEN50 is built upon.

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

Performance CARBON sandwich hulls

The hulls of the ZEN50 have been designed from a blank screen for ultimate efficiency - understand minimum drag or minimal energy consumption for a range of speeds from 6 to 10 knots. Their shape is aggressive, sharp and slender. Their reverse bows cut through water like a sword cuts through butter and their curvature is reminiscent of graceful dolphin bodies. These hulls are undoubtedly of the performance type and are built with the best available composites: Carbon fibre and Corecell™. The combination of high strength, low weight and performance design allow the ZEN50 to reach speeds of up to 14 knots.

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

INFINITE range at high CONTINUOUS speeds

With maximized solar and wind power and minimized energy consumption… the ZEN50 can sail continuously at speeds varying between 6 and 10 knots. Thorough simulations in various sea states and weather system have consistently shown the ZEN50 will be able to achieve performance catamaran speeds continuously without using a genset. With the ZEN50, the world is your oyster and the wildest destinations are within your reach with this self-reliant vessel!

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

True ZERO-EMISSION operation

The first ZEN50 unit, whose construction started in March 2023, will not be equipped with a genset at all and will not have any fossil fuels onboard. The ZEN50 energy system with its very large capacity 160 kWh battery bank, has been designed to function for days in complete safety with minimal solar energy harvest and no wind. It is perfectly safe with no backup genset and operates 24/7 without any polluting emissions.

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

NO FUEL , no costs

Naturally, requiring no fuel to operate day in day out is great news for the environment, it is also fantastic news when sailing into remote areas where fuel bunkering might be near impossible or where the fuel quality might be an issue. Finally, it also makes a massive difference in this yacht’s costs of operation. Imagine the hundreds of liters of diesel saved over just a week, the obsolete engine maintenance schedules, the clogged filters and dirty tanks from another age… Welcome to a new burden-free, energy self-sufficient era, welcome to clean and graceful eco-yachting, welcome to ZEN Yachts.

small electric sailboat

Highest SAFETY & reliability

At ZEN Yachts, we have made some design choices to attain energy self-reliance with the ZEN50 that reduces the habitable volume in the hulls, similar to performance catamarans. Where we have not and will never compromise is on safety. Our main voltage system is 48V making it perfectly safe to work on. The level of redundancy of the batteries and solar panels is 10! The main electrical architecture is split in 2 so that should anything happen on 1 hull, the entire vessel can still operate normally. There are 2 independent helm stations and the ZEN50 is packed with special safety features, nonsubmersible compartments and we can even offer an in-depth practical course on safety equipment usage and management. Sailing with the ZEN50 is not only exhilarating and clean, it is ultra safe!

small electric sailboat

Unrivaled space & COMFORT

The ZEN50 offers the speeds of a performance catamaran, the comfort of a large motor yacht and the simplicity of an electric car. No less than 2 large day beds, 3 dining areas for over 10 people, 1 professional galley and 2 wet kitchens, 5 heads, up to 4 double ensuite cabins, 1 bunk double and 1 single together with both saloon and dining areas converting into extra sleeping areas, this is simply unrivaled on a 50 ft. catamaran. Add an electric tender, dive compressor, satellite internet, 2 helm stations (cockpit and flybridge), a solar roof that converts into a gigantic upper deck to enjoy the most epic sunrises and sunsets, welcome onboard the ZEN50!

ZEN50 wingsail and solar powered performance zero emission electric catamaran yacht by ZEN Yachts

SPECIFICATIONS

Main particulars.

• Length Over All: 15.7m

• Beam: 8.4m

• Depth Molded: 2.7m at midship

• Displacement (light) : 17 T

• Draft (design): 1.3m (4.3ft) incl. keel

• Passenger Capacity: 12

• Berths: 12 (4 x double + 2 x single + saloon)

• Building Material: Carbon Fiber - Corecell™ composite

• Certification: CE Cat A - Unrestricted with 12 persons

Note: Some of the above figures may vary between versions

PROPULSION & ENERGY

• Propulsion: 2 x 50 kW brushless DC motors

• Main Battery Pack Capacity: 160 kWh Lithium

• Solar Roof Peak Power: 18 kWp

• Wingsail: Oceanwings® OWS 3.2 by Ayro©

• Backup Battery Pack Capacity (Nav/Com/Wing): 5 kWh Lithium

• Main System Voltage: 48V - Low voltage for total human safety

• Accommodation Voltage: 110V or 220V

SPEED & RANGE

• Max. Speed on e-motor only: 10 kn

• Max. Speed on e-motor & Wingsail: 14 kn

• Cruising Speed for continuous operation - solar only: 4.5 - 5 kn

• Cruising Speed for continuous operation - solar and wing: 6 - 10 kn

• Cruising Speed day time: 8 - 10 kn

• Range Over 24 h: 180+ nm

Note: These values may vary between versions and sea / weather conditions

EQUIPMENT INCLUDED - RACER VERSION

• Integrated power management system

• Solar power & energy storage system

• Electric propulsion system

• By-wire steering system

• Helm stations at cockpit & flybridge

• Galley counters, storage, sink, oven, stove, fridge, freezer

• 4 en suite heads with enclosed shower, toilet, sink & faucet (in each head)

• All cabin furniture (as shown in layouts)

• Aft deck fixed dining table and aft sofa with collapsible back rest (as shown in layouts)

• Fore deck day bed and lateral seats (as shown in layouts)

• Outdoor marine cork decking / indoor saloon natural bamboo decking

• All cushions In/Outdoor upholstered with Sunbrella® fabric

• 6 deck hatches

• 2 x 500 liter (2 x 132 gal) fresh water tanks

• 2 x 100 liter approx. (2 x 26 gal) fresh water tanks + 1 fresh water pump

• 2 x 350+ liter approx. (2 x 92 gal) holding tanks

• Railings, cleats and fore deck trampolines

• Mooring equipment: 33 kg Rocna® stainless steel anchor + 50 m stainless steel chain 10 mm + 150 m nylon rope + e-windlass

• Regulatory navigation equipment including navigation lights & mast

• 2 x chart plotter 16”; 2 x VHF with DSC button

• Regulatory Life Saving Appliances

• Critical spare parts kit

Note: The above equipment is for the Racer version. Cruiser & Explorer versions carry additional equipment

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Solar Roof Layout

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Solar Roof Layout

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Flybridge Layout

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Flybridge Layout

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Main Deck Layout - Asymmetric D (subject to changes)

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Main Deck Layout - Asymmetric D (subject to changes)

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Cabin Layout - Asymmetric D (subject to changes)

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Cabin Layout - Asymmetric D (subject to changes)

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Cabin Layout - Asymmetric E (subject to changes)

ZEN50 Solar Wingsail Electric Catamaran - Cabin Layout - Asymmetric E (subject to changes)

SOLAR & WINGSAIL

OCEAN RACER

Solar & Wingsail, basic configuration ready to sail, navigation, safety, fridge, etc.

EUR 2 400 000

WORLD CRUISER

Solar & Wingsail, well equipped configuration with, among other options, electric tender, AC and water maker

EUR 2 650 000

ARCTIC EXPLORER

Solar & Wingsail ultimate configuration with all available options

EUR 2 850 000

Solar only, ready to sail basic configuration with navigation, safety, fridge, etc.

EUR 1 850 000

CONTINENTAL CRUISER

Solar only, well equipped configuration with, among other options, electric tender, AC and water maker

EUR 2 100 000

TROPICAL EXPLORER

Solar only, ultimate configuration with all available options

EUR 2 300 000

Ready to reserve your ZEN50?

Want more information .

small electric sailboat

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Small Fishing Boat with Big Boat Features

• Small Fishing Boat, ideal for both fresh and salt water • Hands-Free Operation and 0° Turning Radius • In-hull Propulsion System for Shallow Draft • Unmatched Stability Keeps You Safe • Elevated Seating for All Day Comfort • Lightweight and can be Launched From Anywhere

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Investing in a reasonably priced 10-foot boat can offer an array of benefits that enhance your overall experience on the water, particularly when you're looking at the Freedom Electric Marine Troller X10 or X10 Deluxe. The X10 series of 10 foot boats come standard with a zero-turn radius, allowing for unparalleled maneuverability. Whether you're navigating through narrow channels or docking in tight spaces, the ability to make sharp turns with ease ensures a stress-free boating adventure. Additionally, these boats often come equipped with premium comfortable cushion seats. These plush seating options provide exceptional support and comfort, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time on the water. Imagine leisurely cruising along, feeling the gentle breeze, all while being seated in luxurious comfort. Another appealing feature is the hands-free foot controls. This innovative technology enables effortless control of the boat, freeing up your hands to engage in other activities. Whether you're fishing, taking photographs, or simply enjoying the scenic views, the convenience of hands-free operation allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience without compromising safety or control. Being price conscious, the X10 and X10 deluxe offers a great balance between affordability and functionality. The compact size makes it easier to transport and store, while still providing ample space for seating and storage. This makes it a versatile option for various activities such as fishing, recreational outings, or exploring serene waterways. Furthermore, the affordability of these boats ensures that you can enjoy the benefits of boating without breaking the bank.

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14 Speedy Battery-Powered Boats Bringing the Electric Revolution to the Water

The once disregarded concept is now coming of age in real time..

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Say Carbon Yachts 29 E

Even two years ago, the idea of electric-powered watercraft was confined mostly to cool-looking sketches. The notion didn’t carry much credibility in the boating world, since water’s high drag caused batteries to deplete quickly and severely limited range. And who wants to be stuck offshore with dead batteries?

Technology may have finally caught up to the concept, with more than two dozen builders (and counting) having recently launched new EV runabouts. Range remains the restricting factor, but these inshore craft now make sense to four-wheeled EV owners who understand the charging routine. In return: no emissions, instant acceleration and silent running, likely acceptable tradeoffs for boaters who typically use their vessels for only limited periods, anyway. Which means right now we’re watching electric boats come of age in real time. Here are 14 models leading the pack.

Navier 27 Foiler

small electric sailboat

The Navier 27, which is being built at the Lyman-Morse shipyard in Maine, promises to be a ground-breaker when it launches next fall. The electric boat is built on three retractable hydrofoils (one at the bow and two at the stern) that provide speed, range and efficiency. Navier founders Sampriti Bhattacharyya and Reo Baird, two MIT-educated engineers who both have backgrounds in aerospace, decided to put their knowledge to work with the 27. They’ve assembled a team of experts in hydrofoil design, software engineering and hull design to create what they think is a sustainable dayboat (with an overnighting cabin) that will appeal to most boater profiles. The Navier 27 will have a top speed of 30 knots, and at 20 knots, it will have a 70-mile range. The futuristic boat retails for $300,000.

Learn More: Here

small electric sailboat

With a length of nearly 35 feet and top end of 40.2 mph, the Lion shows that electric boats can be authentic weekend yachts. The first production model, currently in build at Maine’s Hodgdon shipyard, will be available in late summer. The boat has a propietary Vita V4 operating system that recharges in under an hour, with electric motors that generate 590 hp and a modern touchscreen interface at the helm. Its open layout, double sunbed aft and open stern, with steps down to the water, reflect contemporary dayboat designs. The boat also has a cabin that can be outfitted with a berth and head. With a base price of $1.5 million, the Lion is an exciting new trend for owners that want an authentic sustainable boat for coastal cruising. 

Say Carbon Yachts 29 E

small electric sailboat

This sleek hot rod is the electric version of the popular 29 from Say Carbon , the German yard known for lightweight, ultrafast sport boats with minimalist, luxury interiors. Built from carbon fiber, the $450,000 29 E clocks in under 4,400 pounds and is powered by a 360 kw Kreisel electric motor and 120 kw battery. The company claims it’s the world’s fastest electric boat under 33 feet, with a top speed of 57 mph. Of course, all that velocity comes at the expense of range, but at 25 mph it delivers a respectable ambit of 31 miles. Meanwhile, the built-in charger completes a full recharge in six hours.

Q Yachts Q30

q30, Q-Yachts. Kuva: Lauri Rotko

Designed with aesthetics over speed in mind, this 30-footer from Finnish builder Q Yachts is an ideal lake boat. Top speed is just 16 mph, but at 7 mph it delivers a range of 70 miles, or 10 hours of running time. Starting at $208,000, the Q30 has a cabin for overnighting, complete with fridge, water and electric toilet. Plus, it can be charged with a standard plug.

Marian M 800 Spyder

small electric sailboat

This new bowrider has a retro, almost Riva-esque look, and since the Austrian yard Marian builds only electric boats, it has the advantage of a hull designed specifically for extended range. The M 800 Spyder can be outfitted with four different power options, from a 60 kw motor meant for puttering around a lake up to an electrifying 150 kw inboard with 125 kw lithium-ion batteries that delivers a top speed of 39 mph and enough torque to allow the M 800, priced from $270,000, to double as a towboat. At a more leisurely 18 mph, expect a range of up to 30 nautical miles.

Rand Escape 30

small electric sailboat

Designed as a high-performing electric boat with a wave-piercing hull, this 30-footer was also built light to maximize range: Rand claims the Escape 30 has 30 to 50 percent lower electric consumption than similar-sized boats. Its motors run the gamut from 105 to 460 kw, all paired with correspondingly sized lithium-ion batteries. The open-bow 30-footer starts at about $195,000, can carry up to 12 people and has five different seating areas, including a rear-facing lounge over the swim platform, plus an overnight cabin with head. The hard-top design makes the Escape 30 more of a serious coastal boat than others on this list, though your range will vary depending on engine size (and your personal need for speed).

X Shore Eelex 8000

small electric sailboat

The instant thrust of this Swedish-built 26-footer, thanks to its 225 kw Brusa electric motor, was an absolute thrill when running the boat on the Intracoastal Waterway off Palm Beach, and the highly respectable 34.9 mph top end competes with many traditionally powered vessels in the same class. The hull was made of recycled plastic and flax fabric (an upgrade from the standard fiberglass/carbon-fiber weave), and instead of teak soles, X Shore used cork, which provides uncompromising grip while being more ecologically sustainable. Twin 60 kw lithium-ion Kreisel batteries can be replenished in under two and a half hours with a supercharger. Even blazing down the ICW, the 8000, priced from $329,000, sounds more like a sailboat than a runabout.

Boesch 750 Portofino Deluxe

small electric sailboat

If it’s classic runabout looks that invoke a certain feeling of dolce vita that you’re looking for in your electric boat, then look no further than the 750 Portofino De Luxe from Boesch . With a spacious sunpad aft, a retractable soft top, and an automotive-inspired windshield, the boat checks a lot of boxes for both style and practicality. At 25 mph this boat has a battery life of 70 minutes, making it an excellent choice when you need a steed to guide you towards a crisp Aperol spritz and a delicious lakeside nosh.

Correct Craft Ingenity 23E

small electric sailboat

With room for up to 11 people, the Ingenity 23E is built for a party—with minimal environmental impact. The boat’s bow features round-robin seating that enhances conversation, while the transom is open for unencumbered movement, to and from the water. The bow also offers easy access to sandbars and beaches. A 126kW engine allows the 23E to travel for 14 hours at slow speeds, though if need be the boat can reach 30 mph.

Spirit Foiler

small electric sailboat

British builder Spirit Yachts has collaborated with America’s Cup veteran BAR Technologies for a hydrofoiling electric vessel with a Torqeedo engine that lends it a relatively leggy 100-mile range. The boat will get up on its foils at 16 mph, cruise at 25 mph, and hit a very respectable top end of 34 mph. Added benefits of the foils include a smoother ride not susceptible to rougher waters, as well as aided efficiency. What’s more, the Spirit’s super-sleek, raceboat profile will immediately make it pop out at near any port of call.

Hermes Speedster E

small electric sailboat

It’s tough to beat the Greek-built Hermes Speedster E when it comes to looks. The sleek, retro-inspired design has loads of tumblehome and comes in a large variety of customizable colors. A design motif that is reminiscent of mid-20th century Porsche roadsters has made the Speedster a runaway hit at recent boat shows. Now outfitted with a 134kW electric motor that offers an unexpectedly brisk top speed of 45 mph, the runabout promises to gain even more new fans. With room for four and notably low trim angles, the Hermes is an excellent pick for a fun cruise up the ICW—just don’t expect not to attract any attention.

Candela C-8

small electric sailboat

The C-8 from Swedish builder Candela is instantly recognizable at sea because of its hyrdofoiling technology that has it literally floating above the water. The foils mean the boat is more efficient because it has less drag and is not particularly vulnerable to rougher conditions. And it barely leaves a wake. At 27 mph, the boat has a range of 50 nautical miles and the engines can charge in just two hours. The Candela also sleeps two adults and two children, which makes it a true family boat.

Magonis Wave e-550

small electric sailboat

At first glance, this electric bowrider has an almost 1970s Mini Cooper sensibility—a small 16-foot hull with as much interior space as possible. The boat made its public debut last summer at the Venice Boat Show, powered by a 10kW Torqeedo electric motor. It recently upped the power by 300 percent with a 30kW Mag Power motor. That turned it from a canal cruiser into a coastal vessel that reaches 22 knots. The boat was designed around the engines to perform well at both low and high speeds. At three knots, it has a range of 10 hours. Despite the small hull, the designers used every inch to maximize the experience, from the open stern to the open-bow configuration. Fit and finish is excellent, with options like a full teak deck, fridge, shower, and telescopic table. Instead of the typical helm console, Magonis substituted a 13-inch, waterproof iPad that can stay with the owner at all times. The starting price is about $36,500.

small electric sailboat

Minimalist is a good descriptor for Zin ’s 20-foot Z2R runabout. Fast is another one, since the runabout boasts a top speed of 35 mph. The company says the boat’s average range is 80 to 100 miles, and in an uncharacteristic display of transparency, claims it only costs $6 to charge. Compare that to the gallons a similar-sized gas powerboat would consume on a Saturday afternoon, especially in these times of rising fuel prices. The boat is powered by a Torqeedo motor and BMWi3 battery. It has carbon-fiber construction for light weight and structural stiffness, and is trailerable. The flat foredeck also makes it easy to get on and off the Z2R from the bow, and an 18-inch draft lets it come up to the beach on a secluded island.

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8 Most Elegant Small Electric Boats For Lakes

8 Most Elegant Small Electric Boats For Lakes

Unless you are signing up for what is known as the “Everest of the Seas”- the Vendee Globe, then traveling 30 knots or higher is unnecessary and, to be frank, not that comfortable.

But, if cruising along the coastline or boating around the lake is closer to your family’s vision, then an electric-powered boat could be an excellent fit for you.

Stay tuned as I am about to share the 8 Most Elegant Small Electric Boats that you should consider for your lake cruising fun.

Table of Contents

The Power of Electricity

Pros of small electric boats, electricity: the new maritime goldmine, what you need to look for, 8 best small electric boats for lakes.

The Power of Electricity

The wisdom behind an electric-powered boat is not a contemporary idea at all. In all actuality, the concept of fuel-alternative power has been around since the 1800s.

The conception of an electric-powered vessel was both innovative and way ahead of its times; however, the fossil fuel industry engulfed this idea and forcefully created a diversion to slow down or eliminate the progression of electric boating.

Heather Farmbrough reports in her Forbes Magazine article that “shipping accounts for 13% of sulfur oxide emissions and 15% of nitrous oxide emissions worldwide.”

What does this mean? Any preliminary research will reveal that the boating industry’s regulations on fossil fuel pollution are far behind that of the auto industry. In addition, the rules that are in place seem to place restrictions on larger vessels that operate far at sea.

So, unfortunately, historically poor restrictions and quasi-inexistent regulation for small boats cause increasing concern for our ocean environment and wildlife.

An electric-powered boat may depend on electricity alone or even a hybrid alternative like cars. However, for the most part, small boats (sailboats, inflatables, dinghies, etc.) can rely on electricity alone in the form of an electric outboard motor.

Owners of larger boats may prefer the inboard motor configuration to store battery packs in a cooler environment. In addition, larger vessels that operate for longer hours and who plan to remain at sea for extended periods will benefit from employing multiple power sources to conserve battery power for the most critical times.

Some of the more common hybrid configurations include “wind power (conventional cloth or solar-impregnated sails and/or small wind turbines), solar panels, nuclear, hydrogen fuel cells, diesel, biofuel or petrol generators .”

Pros of Small Electric Boats

#1) Stay Green – There is nothing better than an environmentally conscious boat-owner. Given our place and advantage in creation, we have an ethical responsibility to put measures to protect and sustain our environment with all the various species we cohabitate. Electric-powered boats are just one contribution to humanity that allows you and me to enjoy our Earth’s waters without causing harm to the environment.

#2) Boundaryless – Solar and electric-powered engines do not impose risks to the environment. As a boat owner, you will face minimum, if any at all, restrictions when traveling through or near protected areas.

#3) Multiple Power Sources – Boats running on electricity can be paired with wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen, diesel, biofuel, or petrol generating sources.

#4) Quiet – Not only do electric-powered vessels reduce marine pollution in the form of fossil fuel release, but the silent engines help prevent unnecessary stress on marine wildlife. Take a peek at Konrad Bergström’s X Shore Eelex project to understand the vision for a cleaner maritime boating future.

#5) Versatile – Electric motors are versatile and have small and large vessel applications. It appears that Norway may be in the lead with larger electric-powered vessels to include a cruise ship that completed a voyage near the North Pole. However, countries worldwide are recognizing the importance of going green and finally seeing the profitable edge that their companies can experience from a happy and healthy environment for all.

#6) Inboard and Outboard Configurations – Although a vessel of larger caliber such as a cruise ship, tanker, or container ship will house their significantly larger engines inside, a smaller boat (sailboat, yacht, cruiser, etc.) can use outboard motors . In addition, the design of solar panels is available in a variety of styles and shapes that fit practically any project, thus making them a fantastic power source for electric motors.

Though electric boats are turning the pages in maritime history and pushing to mark quite a promising future for a sustainable sport and past time, there are several electric boats already available on the market.

Going silent and fuel-free can be your reality as you create some space in your budget to acquire the electric-powered boat of your dreams. Whether you like the more classic cruiser lines or your family is looking forward to loads of fun and entertainment aboard the more modern pontoon boat , there is an electric option for any configuration or application.

What You Need To Look For

When in the market for an electric boat, it would be helpful to consider several very critical items:

  • Battery Life and Replacement – Along with the expected duration of the batteries, it would be good to research local lakes to see if any have recharging stations at the docks . Also, depending on your needs, you should plan your boating adventure with recharging times considered.
  • Enclosure – Take note of the housing of the electric motor to ensure that all electrical connections are adequately protected.
  • Maintenance and Service – As a boat owner, you will learn ways to save money where you can. Is your electric-powered boat DIY-friendly? If not, please take note of the recommended maintenance schedule and find out the location of the nearest service provider.
  • Warranty – With any investment, be sure you understand the limits and coverage extended to you under the manufacturer’s warranty.

I think it’s time to look at this article’s line-up of 8 of the best small electric boats to consider for your lakeside pleasure.

#1) Bruce 22 of Vision Marine Technologies

At a very high starting price point of approximately $225,000, the Bruce 22 offers a luxury high-performance electric boat unparalleled in class and elegance.

This speedy cruiser can reach speeds up to an impressive 40 miles per hour, making it a leading rival to any fossil fuel burner representing mighty towing power and great wake competitive watersports.

But, even if you are not about throwing on a pair of skis and getting pulled behind a boat, you will be turning heads while enjoying a smooth glass of wine with your loved one aboard this sleek and sexy vessel.

#2) Eelex 8000 by X Shore

Eelex 8000 by X Shore

Since I already referred to Konrad Bergström earlier, I thought I should tell you more about the luxury electric boats he designs.

The Eelex 8000 has received plenty of notoriety and is sometimes called the “Tesla of the Seas.” For near $285,000, you can travel up to 115 miles at lower speeds powered by its 225 kW motor and matching 126 kWh battery pack.

Konrad is hopeful that in time his childhood passion for the seas and ethical stance on ocean sustainability will become a global vision for the maritime boater.

He explains if X Shore can garner the same celebrity attention as Tesla cars initially did. In that case, the company will introduce more economical models that the typical family can afford.

#3) Pulse 63 by RS Electric Boats

Pulse 63 by RS Electric Boats

RS Electric Boats is a British-designed boat using completely sustainable materials with mass production right around the corner. The company specializes in sailing dinghies, and the Pulse 63 can reach a top speed of over 25 miles per hour.

This RIB boat is fully customizable to include personal branding. Additionally, with its ability to travel to over 100 miles on a single charge, you can be sure to enjoy this high-tech electric boat around the lake at half the price of the above two features.

#4) Q30 by Q-Yachts

Q30 by Q-Yachts

I immediately think expensive taste whenever I hear the word yacht , and for a price tag of almost $250,000, the Q 30 is a beautiful luxury day cruiser if your wallet can afford it.

This electric boat has quite a humble appearance with its “hull [designed with] vinylester and unidirectional glass fibre skin with foam core above and below waterline.”

Measuring 9.3 meters in length, you and your guests can cruise at low speeds for approximately ten hours on a single charge of batteries that can recharge overnight using your typical everyday plug.

Let me not forget to mention that the cabin of the Q 30 includes a toilet, fridge, and comfortable accommodation if you see yourself camping out on an extended trip.

#5) M800 Spyder by Marian

This electric yacht made its debut at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival, where its sleek lines of sheer elegance did not go unnoticed. The M800 Spyder has a 150kW motor paired with 125kWh batteries that can produce an adrenaline-producing ride of up to 40 miles per hour.

Priced at $270,000 (the highest on this list so far), the M800 Spyder’s Austrian design is here to break the mold of fine maritime tradition with the addition of electric power.

The fast M800 Spyder is a silently impressive and technological beast with no harm to the marine environment or atmosphere.

#6) Wave E-550 by Magonis

Wave E-550 by Magonis

Finally, an electric boat that is more fitting to my budget but equally as elegant and impressive is the Magonis Wave E-550 electric-powered boat.

This dreamy powerboat evolution takes the best of the European class. The E-550 was designed in Barcelona but built in Italy- two countries known for their artistic beauty.

With all the latest in smart technology, including an iPad pro at the helm, Magonis has produced a socially centered leisure boat that utilizes a Torqeedo Electric outboard cruising engine to propel this craft up to 25 miles per hour, depending on your cruising speed.

With the Magonis boat-builder tool on their website, you can explore an extensive range of accessories to make your boat that much more exclusive; however, the starting price for this beautiful boat is $45,000.

#7) 750 Portofino Deluxe by Boesch

The Swiss have done it again- renowned for their multi-tool pocket knives, luggage, and chocolate, Switzerland is also making great strides in electric maritime history.

This electric boat measures 7.5 meters in length, and its spacious deck design comfortably fits five or six guests. Moreover, the 750 Portofino has all the latest instrumentation technology, and even the base model has an extensive list of standard accessories.

The price tag starts at close to $400,000, making it officially the most expensive lakeside toy on this list.

#8) 28 Cabin by Alfastreet

I was surprised to learn of its Polish descent, yet the Alfastreet Marine company offers electric versions of their standard line-up.

Starting at $200,000, the 28 Cabin model is easy to drive and displays Alfastreet’s state-of-the-art craftsmanship.

The boat offers a roof that is incredibly accomodating to guests even if inclement weather intrudes on your lake experience. This vessel is another expensive but great option for you if you want to camp out for the night.

The cabin has a luxurious king-size bed and bathroom for ultimate comfort and relaxation for you and your family.

No doubt about it, boating is a beautiful way to express your love of nature, and I think pursuing your passion without any harm to marine wildlife or the environment around you is the best way to go.

For that reason, this article has explored the 8 Most Elegant Small Electric Boats for your leisurely experience around the lake or along the coastline. The future of maritime technology is growing momentum even though the ethical call for a greener and more sustainable footprint began long ago.

The electrically-powered boat industry offers boats big and small to fit any budget and taste. The boats featured in this article may seem out of reach to the typical boating enthusiast; however, if people continue to express their interest in this sustainable technology, then in time, prices will drop.

Until then, I will have to happily sit across from you at the lake in my hardshell kayak, admiring you in your newest electric yacht.

Would you please mind leaving any questions or concerns about small electric boats in the comment section below?

small electric sailboat

Joseph Fabiano is a writer, nature enthusiast, and stay-at-home father of two wild and free boys. He enjoys starting his day with a good run, hot mug of coffee, and a jump in the Ionian Sea, no matter the weather. Currently based in the Apuglia region of southern Italy, he enjoys discovering the world with his best traveling buddies (his little monkey’s and beautiful wife) at every given opportunity. Every trip, long or far, should be made an adventure according to Joseph as he believes inspiration and creation is right in front of you.

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Looking forward to a future with smaller affordable electric boats for the ‘average’ person. One where people can enjoy nature without harming the environment or the ecosystems that call it home. Only wish I could afford it! ill be in my canoe for now ….

Lol. I second that. Either using a trolling motors on a Jon boat or paddling. Really no other recourse to go “green” and be frugal.

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Electric outboard motor: we test 13 options

  • Theo Stocker
  • July 25, 2023

An electric outboard motor is now a viable option for dinghy propulsion. Emrhys Barrell puts the latest outboards and trolling motors to the test

small electric sailboat

The electric outboard motor has been around for many years, but they have either been too low powered or their lead acid batteries have made them too heavy to lift in and out of a small tender, so petrol outboards have remained the engine of choice.

The development of lightweight lithium batteries has changed all this, making an electric outboard motor a practical alternative to petrol – and making all electric yachts a real possibility too.

With this in mind, we tested 12 models whose all-up weight, or the weight of their individual components, did not exceed the 14-17kg of a 2.5hp petrol outboard.

See how we tested the electric outboards at the end of this article.

Best electric outboard motor

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Specifications Outboard weight:   12kg Overall weight with outboard and bracket: 14.5kg Battery capacity: 1085Wh Top speed: 5kts Thrust: 30kg / 66lbs

Designed along the lines of a dinghy rudder, this Remigo outboard is incredibly easy and intuitive to use. No external cables or anything to be snagged, it clips onto a bracket pre-mounted to your tender or dinghy, in a similar way that you’d attach a  dinghy rudder.

Flip down the handle, attach the magnetic kill cord and you’re good to go.

On test this outboard gave as much thrust as the ePropulsion below but out performed it in terms of maneuverability. The Remigo can be switched from forward to reverse thrust at the touch of a button.

We like the Remigo for it’s sleek simplicity. If you want a clean smart easy to carry outboard to take you from your mooring to shore or quietly meander from your anchorage to shore then this is definitely worth considering.

We especially liked the rudder effect of this outboard giving us steerage even we had turn the power completely off to coast in alongside our pontoon.

Read Fox Morgan’s review of this outboard – Remigo One Electric Outboard review

Reasons to buy

very easy to stow, innovative rudder design, lightweight, built in battery, easy to mount and dismount

Reasons to avoid

No multiple battery swap options like more conventional electric outboards

Find a dealer at Silent Yachting

small electric sailboat

Photo: Paul Wyeth

ePropolsion Spirit 1.0 EVO

Yachting Monthly’s best buy

Specifications Motor weight:   10.5kg Battery weight: 9kg Battery capacity: 1276Wh Top speed RIB: 4.5mph Top speed skiff: 6.0mph Thrust: 31kg/68lbs

The Chinese firm ePropulsion has been developing its electric outboard motor range and lithium batteries for some time. We tested the Spirit 1.0 Plus and Evo, both 1kW motors with integral batteries.

Clearly ePropulsion was influenced by Torqeedo, but there are some important differences. From the outset ePropulsion went for a direct drive motor, being quieter and avoiding gearbox problems.

The battery has a greater capacity than the original Torqeedo, and is still 30% higher than the latest version. It also floats – useful if you should drop it overboard.

Fitting the battery is a two-handed job, with the carrying handle being at the back, and latch lock at the front, which requires leaning over the transom to install it. You also cannot see the locating slots underneath, which isn’t quite so easy in a bobbing inflatable. The power cable socket is protected by a rubber cap.

You have a display, but it only shows power being consumed, voltage, and remaining runtime, which means it has larger figures, easier to read on a sunny day, but it lacks GPS speed or range.

It has the same trim settings as the Torqeedo, with a similar fiddly retaining split ring. It also has a magnetic kill cord. Three shaft lengths are available, catering for transom heights up to 61cm. The shaft is streamlined but rotates through 360º for maximum manoeuvrability and reverse.

High battery capacity Quiet 360º rotation

Limited display options

Buy it now from epropulsion

small electric sailboat

Yachting Monthly’s best in class

Specifications Motor weight:   10.5kg Battery weight: 9kg Battery capacity: 1276Wh Top speed RIB: 4.5mph Top speed skiff: 6.0mph Thrust: 68lbs Regeneration: 4 knots – 40W / 10 knots – 300W

The 1.0 EVO has the same dimensions and performance as the Spirit, but it has the options of a removable tiller, plus remote controls and steering, but the real innovation is that it offers regenerative charging while you are sailing, putting 40W at 4 knots, and 300W at 10 knots back into the battery.

You can even have a wristband remote for steering and throttle.

The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 EVO is undeniably more expensive than it’s little sister without the regenerative charging and the cost difference is significant. If you are likely to be doing a lot of sailing and using your electric motor from ship-to-shore in relatively remote locations then the regeneration will probably be worth it. For most, though the price differential is probably a little too steep.

Regenerative charging Removable tille Remote controls

Relatively expensive

small electric sailboat

Torqeedo 1103 and Torqeedo 603

Torqeedo 603 specifications Motor weight:  11kg Battery weight:  4.2kg (floats) Battery capacity: 500Wh Top speed RIB: 4.0 mph Top speed skiff: Not tested Thrust: 44lbs

Torqeedo 1103 specifications Motor weight:  11kg Battery weight:  6kg Battery capacity: 915Wh Top speed RIB: 4.4mph Top speed skiff: 6.0mph Thrust: 68lbs

Torqeedo was the first company to commercially produce an outboard with an integral lithium battery in 2005. The earliest motors used a high-revving geared motor, which produced a characteristic whine. Following the launch of its new larger battery, Torqeedo changed to direct drive at about the same time that ePropulsion arrived on the scene.

The 1103 is 1.1kW and has a removable battery and tiller/throttle. The battery locates in slots in the powerhead and can be dropped in one-handed, with the slots clearly visible from above, which is helpful in a rocking dinghy. It then hinges back and locks in place with a separate plastic pin. The tiller locates in similar slots.

The two are then connected to the motor by a power cable and a data cable, but the latter has an 8mm plug, with five tiny pins that have to be carefully lined up, then secured with a threaded plastic collar. Neither of the sockets have caps to prevent debris or water getting into them when the cables are not connected.

The display on the tiller shows four lines of data at the same time, which makes them small to read (a phone app can be used for a large display). They include volts, battery capacity, range at a given speed, speed in kts, mph or km/h, and power consumption in watts. A magnetic kill-cord cuts the power circuits if you fall overboard.

The motor has four trim positions to allow for angled transoms, but the split ring securing the locking pin is very stiff and fiddly, especially when you have to adjust it hanging over the transom. A side-mounted lever allows the motor to be tilted horizontally. In normal use a catch prevents the motor kicking up in reverse, but this can be released with another side-mounted lever if you are in shallow water.

Long and short shaft versions are available, with the height of the transom to the top of the prop on the long shaft being 62cm. Clamps screws and fittings are stainless steel, making it suitable for salt water use, but an anode is an extra. It has forward and reverse but not 360º rotation.

Established brand with relatively long history Removable battery and tiller Lots of display options

Display hard to read

Buy the Torqeedo 603 now from Torqeedo Buy the Torqeedo 1103 now from Torqeedo

Best Trolling motors

small electric sailboat

Haswing Ultima 3

Specifications Motor weight: 11kg Battery weight: 5kg Battery capacity: 600Wh Top speed: RIB 4.0mph Top speed skiff: Not tested Thrust: 51lbs

Haswing is a new name to us, but this Chinese manufacturer now has an extensive range of motors, several of which we were able to bring along to our test.

The Ultima 3 has an integral Lithium battery and an output of 1,000W, with the ‘3’ in its name indicating the 3hp petrol outboard its makers claim it is equivalent to. The battery is 600Wh.

The battery was the easiest of all in our test to fit and remove, just sliding down a set of grooves, with contacts in the bottom removing the need for any linking cables or wires, and an easy one-handed operation.

The unit is well engineered, with stainless steel used throughout plus an anode as standard, making this suitable for use in salt water, and a spare anode and shear pin. The tiller/throttle hinges up and down for easy operation and storage. It has a streamlined aluminium leg, but rotates 360º.

A magnetic kill cord is a useful safety feature, and there are 5 LEDs showing battery capacity remaining, but this is the only instrumentation, so there is no way of gauging how much power you are using. It also meant that with no exposed power cables, we could not measure intermediate power settings.

Easy to fit battery Anode as standard for salt water usage High end materials

Limited instrumentation

Buy it now from Amazon

small electric sailboat

Motorguide Varimax 40

Specifications Motor weight:  9.1kg Battery (Sterling 60Ah) – 8kg Battery capacity: 780Wh Top speed RIB: 3.2mph Top speed skiff: 4.0mph Thrust: 28lbs

Another trolling motor, this has a claimed 40lb thrust and a variable speed electronic control. The throttle pulls forward for ahead, and pushes back for reverse then twists in the same direction for speed. A clever feature once you get used to it. Ten LEDs show the battery state.

The sliding shaft gives transom heights up to 65cm transom to prop, and 360º rotation. It also quickly tilts through 90º, with 5 positions, for shallow or weedy water.

Clamp screws and fittings are mild steel, meaning you should wash it off with freshwater after using it in the sea.

Clever throttle control Variable transom heights accomodated

Quite basic in functionality

small electric sailboat

Haswing Osapian 55

Yachting Monthly’s best budget buy

Specifications Motor weight:  9kg Battery weight:  (Sterling 60Ah) 8kg Battery capacity: 780Wh Top speed RIB: 3.3mph Top speed skiff: 4.4mph Thrust: 35lbs

This is another trolling motor with a claimed 55lb thrust, but with five forward speeds and three reverse on a twist-grip throttle. Again, it is a well-engineered motor, with all fittings and clamp screws made of stainless steel, an anode behind the prop and a spare in the box.

Five LEDs show the battery state. The sliding shaft gives transom heights up to 62cm, and 10 tilt positions.

As with all click-speed throttles you have double the power at Setting 5 compared to Setting 4, and very poor range figures at intermediate speeds compared to motors with electronic throttles.

However it is an excellent value-for- money option for sailors looking for ways to power their tender for short trip

Well engineered Value for money

Poor range at medium speeds

small electric sailboat

Motorguide SW82

Specifications Motor weight: 13kg Battery weight: 16kg Battery capacity: 1,560Wh Top speed RIB: 4.0mph Top speed skiff: 5.5mph

Motorguide is a well-established US company that is part of the Mercury/Mariner group. The most powerful of the transom mount range, the 82 has a claimed thrust of 82lbs, and is a 24V unit requiring two 12V batteries in series.

It is also designed for saltwater use, with stainless steel clamp screws and fittings, and a large anode on the shaft. It has an extra long shaft, giving up to 93cm transom height to the prop, 360º rotation, and seven tilt positions There are no battery LEDs. An on/off switch under the control head is the nearest it gets to a kill switch.

Well known company Powerful Anode for salt water

No battery LEDs

small electric sailboat

Haswing Protruar 1

Specifications Motor weight: 9kg Battery weight: 8kg Battery capacity: 780Wh Top speed RIB: 3.4mph Top speed skiff: 4.5mph Thrust: 40lbs

Another Haswing requiring a separate 12V battery, this has a variable speed electronic throttle, and similar features to the Protruar 5, except no kill cord. It claims to be equivalent to a 1hp petrol motor, but in practice delivered 600W.

The sliding shaft only allows transom heights up to 40cm, but a longer shaft version is available. It has 10 tilt positions and 360º rotation.

Another well engineered unit, with stainless steel used throughout plus an anode as standard, and a spare anode and shear pin. The tiller/throttle hinges up and down for easy operation and storage.

Anode for salt water use 360º rotation

No kill chord Limited transom height range

Haswing Protruar 5

Specifications Motor weight: 14kg Battery weight: 16kg Battery capacity: 1,560Wh Top speed RIB: Not tested Top speed skiff: 6.1mph Thrust: 108lbs

Another Haswing, the Protruar 5 is the most powerful model we tested. The unit is extremely well engineered, with stainless steel used throughout for the clamp screws and fittings, plus an anode as standard, making this suitable for use in salt water. A nice touch is the spare anode and shear pin in the kit. The tiller/throttle hinges up and down for easy operation and storage.

Its 5 designation indicates its makers think it is equivalent to a 5hp petrol motor, but in reality it delivers around 2.5kW at 24V so requires two separate batteries. It has a variable electronic throttle, three battery state LEDS and a magnetic kill cord.

The shaft slides up and down, giving a maximum transom height of 62cm and 360º rotation. Ten tilt positions are quickly engaged by a squeeze lever.

The thrust was the highest of the test, making it suitable for heavy boats, but the fine pitch prop significantly reduced its efficiency at speed.

Powerful model Anode for salt water use Battery LEDs and kill chord

Needs two batteries for full power

small electric sailboat

Motorguide R3 45

Specifications Motor weight:   9.5kg Battery weight: (Sterling 60Ah) 8kg Battery capacity: 780Wh Top speed RIB: not tested Top speed skiff: 4.1mph

This trolling motor has a claimed thrust of 45lbs and five forward speeds. The sliding shaft gives transom heights up to 65cm and 360º rotation, with seven tilt positions. Clamp screws and fittings are mild steel, so should be washed after saltwater use.

The click-speed throttle gives non-linear power gaps, with Speed Setting 5 being double the power of Setting 4. This throttle arrangement results in poor range figures at medium speeds compared to motors with electronic throttles, but it keeps the price down.

360º rotation Plenty of transom height range

Minn Kota Endura Max 55

Specifications Motor weight: 9.5kg Battery weight: (Sterling 60Ah) 8kg Battery capacity: 780Wh Top speed skiff: 4.6mph

Minn Kota is one of the oldest makers of trolling motors. The Max 55 has a claimed 55lb thrust, with a variable speed electronic twist-grip throttle.

Clamp screws and fittings are mild steel, making it best suited for freshwater, though you can use it in the sea if you wash it off afterwards.

It has a fine pitch prop like all trolling motors, which gives a good static thrust, but efficiency, and hence range, falls off at higher speeds, though the electronic Maximiser throttle helps to offset this.

Electronic maximiser throttle helps offset range issues

Big range drop off at high speeds Needs washing after salt water usage

Buy it now from MinnKota

How we tested the electric outboard motors

We took a selection of electric outboard motor units available on the market, and tested them in two situations, firstly on a Frib 275 folding RIB on the Lymington River to reproduce the situation of getting out to your boat in the tender. We then put them on a 4m skiff on the Thames, to see how they perform at higher speeds on a boat with a smoother underwater form and longer waterline on sheltered waters.

Speed: We measured speed using a handheld GPS, and electricity consumed using a clamp ammeter or the motor’s inbuilt power display. We converted these to the range you would achieve, either for a given power, or the full power of the motor’s battery.

Thrust: We measured static thrust using a spring balance. This is a somewhat crude test, as it measures the pulling power of a motor in a static boat, and therefore doesn’t allow the propeller pitch to work at its designed speed.

Function: We checked the stated weights of each of the motors and made a qualitative survey of their main features when used as a dinghy outboard.

We tested the trolling motors with a 60Ah lithium battery from Sterling Power, which cost £360, though you can use a heavier lead acid battery costing around £120 for a good quality AGM or gel. Don’t bother with leisure batteries, which will fail after 4 to 5 trips. You will need a good quality Lithium charger, which will add on £100 or more.

We haven’t included charging in this test, as this is dependent on the charger you are using, whether you are charging from 240V or 12V on board, and whether the power source is mains, a generator, alternator or solar. It’s worth noting that you will rarely be recharging from flat, and will rather be aiming to top up batteries after each use.

Trolling motor or electric outboard motor?

The options today are trolling motors with separate batteries – so called because they were mainly used as auxiliary slow-speed power for anglers, and integral-battery motors built for dinghy propulsion. These are the options a sailor will be looking at when thinking about changing to an electric outboard.

Trolling motors are still popular for low-speed applications, as they are simple and cheap, but they do need a separate 12V battery.

The integral battery motors are sophisticated units designed to give you more speed and greater range for a given power in a small boat, though for any 3-4m boat, the hull speed will limit how fast you can realistically go with any motor unless you start planing.

An electric outboard motor with an integral battery will often include displays showing speed, range at a given speed, and percentage of battery capacity remaining, but these features come with a higher price tag.

The trolling motors and integral battery models in our test were similar in weight and both come in at around the same total weight as a 2.5hp petrol engine.

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Best electric outboard motors: 11 top options for zero-emissions propulsion

  • Electric boats
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Electric outboard motors seem to be springing up all over the place right now. We round up 11 of the best electric outboards on the market…

Electric outboard motors are nothing new, after all the humble electric trolling motor has been around for decades, but in the past couple of years a new breed of more powerful units has emerged.

Capable of powering everything from a tender to a 50-knot sportsboat, this new generation of electric outboard motors will surely play a big role in the growing trend towards all- electric boats .

We’ve rounded up 11 of the best options available on the market right now to help you track down the right one for cutting down your boat’s carbon footprint.

Compact electric outboard motors for your tender

best-electric-outboards-torqeedo-603-travel-electric-outboard-920x575

Torqeedo 603 Travel

Weight: 15.5kg Power: 600W / 0.8hp Battery: 500Wh Range: 11nm Price: £1,499

Torqeedo has been making electric outboard motors for quite a while now, and their latest offering slots into the travel range of electric outboards between the 503 (1.5hp) and the 1103C (3hp).

All the usual Torqeedo refinements are present and correct. IP67 rated as totally waterproof, the 603 Travel has a magnetic kill cord and an onboard computer providing instant readouts of operating range at current RPM and battery-charge status displayed on the tiller arm.

You can link it to an Apple or Android app and gain even more information including a map-based range indicator.

Read more about the Torqeedo 603 Travel

best-electric-outboards-Screenshot 2023-04-18 at 11.53.48

Mercury Avator 7.5e

Weight: 27.1kg Power: 750W / 1hp Battery: 1kWh Range: 34nm Price: $1,500

Announced in early 2022 and launched less than a year later, the Mercury Avator 7.5e is the first electric unit from the world’s biggest builder of outboard engines .

The whole top plate hinges up to reveal the battery, which can be quickly removed from your electric boat or replaced for convenient charging.

It’s by no means the lightest electric outboard motor on the market, but its claimed range at 25% throttle is very impressive – we look forward to putting one to the test.

Not resting on its laurels, Mercury launched the Avator 20e and 35e this summer as well. These units are no bigger than the 7.5e, but need wiring in to an on-board battery bank.

Read more about the Mercury Avator 7.5e

Read more about the Mercury Avator 20e and 35e

remigo-1kw-electric-outboard-review-video

Weight: 14.5kg (inc. bracket) Power: 1kW / 3hp Battery: 1,085 Wh Range: 14nm Price: £2,185

The idea behind the Remigo One electric outboard makes perfect sense; rather than mounting the battery on top of the shaft, like the engine on an old-school petrol outboard, the Slovenian company has integrated it into the shaft and shaped it like a rudder to minimise drag and maximise steering effect.

It is backed by a 2-year warranty and has a magnetic key/kill cord. There are some other neat ideas too. The rudder casing is waterproof to IP67 above the water and IP69 below the water so it will survive a dunking, and it’s held in place by a clamp mechanism that allows you to adjust the shaft length to suit your boat with the aid of an allen key.

The transom bracket is separate to the motor so you can leave the bracket attached to the boat and simply slot the motor on and off. The tiller also folds and locks parallel to the blade so you can use it as a perfectly balanced carry handle.

Watch our test drive video of the Remigo One electric outboard

thrustme-electric-outboard-motor-tested

The Kicker is exceptionally light and surprisingly powerful

Thrustme Kicker

Weight: 4.4kg Power: 1kW / 3hp Battery: 259kWh Range: 5nm Price: £1,250

If it’s light weight and value that you prioritise over cruising range, then this Norwegian option is hard to beat.

Launched in 2021, the Kicker boasts enough range and grunt to get one person from ship to shore and back again in calm conditions, as editor Hugo proved in a week-long test.

The only downside is that the battery isn’t removable, which can make charging a little more difficult.

Read more about the Thrustme Kicker

best-electric-outboards-TEMO-1000-MBY279.new_gear.TEMO10-920x518

Weight: 15kg Power: 1kW / 3hp Battery: 740Wh Range: Up to 1hr Price: €2,850

A brand new option from France, the TEMO-1000 doesn’t look anything like a traditional outboard motor.

The design doesn’t have any rectangular box on top, just a rudder-shaped shaft with an electric motor at the bottom and a long slim battery that simply slides down into it, connecting automatically to your electric boat without having to plug wires into it.

The tiller arm does the same, meaning it disappears completely when not in use and yet it is never detached and therefore never mislaid.

Read more about the TEMO-1000

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Haswing Ultima 3

Weight: 16kg Power: 1kW / 3hp Battery: 1.03kWh Range: 18nm Price: £1,570

A top-of-the-range option from trolling motor stalwarts Haswing, the Ultimate 3 is suitable for boats up to 7m long.

The brushless DC motor produces 3hp (claimed to be equivalent to a 4hp petrol outboard motor), and it’s available in short and long shaft versions as well as the standard length.

Not only is the detachable battery unusually light at 5kg (lightest in class, according to the manufacturer), it also connects to the engine in a single simple operation without the need for connecting cables or other fiddly parts – no bad thing when you’re bobbing about in a tender!

Read more about the Haswing Ultima 3

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ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus

Weight: 19.3kg Power: 1kW / 3hp Battery: 1,276Wh Range: 22nm Price: £1,600

The original Spirit 1.0 has actually been in production for six years with over 10,000 units built. Featuring a 1,000W brushless motor, this electric outboard motor is claimed to be equivalent to a 3hp petrol engine, ideal for tender duties or small to medium sized dinghies.

This Plus version, launched in 2020, is the same weight, size and power – the big gain is where it’s needed most, run time. It has been achieved by upgrading the battery from 1,018Wh to 1,276Wh.

At the same time, the power cord has been upgraded for durability and reliability, and the voltage has been changed from 40.7V to 48V, making it compatible with an external 48V battery. The battery will even float if dropped overboard!

Read more about the ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus

Most powerful electric outboard motors for day boats

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Yamaha Harmo

Weight: 55kg Power: 3.7kW / 9.9hp Battery: Sold  separately Range: Depends on battery Price: £TBC

Announced in 2022 and tested on a 12m Venmar water taxi, the Yamaha Harmo electric boat drivetrain may be a rather modestly powered 3.7kW motor, equivalent to a 9.9hp petrol engine, but it is being seen as a major statement of intent from the Japanese brand synonymous with big, powerful four-stroke outboards.

Intriguingly, the Harmo is neither an outboard engine nor a sterndrive but a new propulsion package that borrows ideas from both camps.

It is mounted on the transom just above the waterline much like a sterndrive leg, but in keeping with the outboard engine ethos it’s an entirely self-contained unit that includes the motor and steering mechanism.

Read more about the Yamaha Harmo electric rim drive

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RAD Propulsion RAD40

Weight: 100kg Power: 40kW / 55hp Battery: 20-60kWh Range: 100nm Price: £28,000 (ex. battery)

The RAD40 drive from British start-up RAD Propulsion appears to be far more than just a conventional outboard leg with an electric motor bolted on top.

Every single element of it has been designed from the ground up to maximise the benefits of electric power. The result is a brand new drive system that is not only much cleaner, quieter and more efficient than a petrol outboard engine but also smaller, lighter, cheaper to maintain and even more manoeuvrable.

In its current 40kW guise (equivalent to around 55hp) it’s powerful enough to propel everything from a 25-knot planing RIB to a 10-knot displacement craft but with a larger 160hp RAD120 as well as a portable tiller steered RAD2 already in development, it’s clear that RAD Propulsion has its eyes set on a much wider market.

Read more about the RAD Propulsion RAD40 electric outboard

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E-Motion 180E

Weight: 580kg Power: 110kW / 180hp Battery: 70kWh Range: 70nm Price: $78,990

Launched in 2021 by Canadian firm Vision Marine Technologies, the E-Motion 180E looks like a genuine alternative to the 150-200hp petrol outboard motors that power the vast majority of 18-25ft sportsboats and RIBs.

The outboard engine itself weighs around 180kg, compared to 216kg for a 200hp V6 Mercury Verado, but that relatively modest saving pales into comparison next to the 400kg weight of the 70kWh battery pack.

Admittedly, a fair chunk of that will be offset by the lack of fuel tank and starter batteries, but unlike a petrol boat, the battery pack’s weight stays constant whether full or close to empty.

Read more about the E-Motion 180E

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The Evoy Storm looks, feels and goes like a well-matched petrol outboard engine

Weight: 350kg Power: 222kW / 300hp Battery: 2x 63kWh Range: 25nm Price: €144,700

Although currently still in development, the Evoy Storm is a working prototype that has already been fitted to a number of partner brands’ boats, including an Iguana amphibious craft and an Axopar 25 that we tested at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival .

Despite a 450kg weight penalty over a fully fuelled petrol boat, and five passengers, we still recorded a top speed of over 50 knots – vastly quicker than any other electric boat we’ve tested and not far off the world speed record for a production electric boat of 57.7 knots (held by a Goldfish X9 powered by a 400hp Evoy inboard).

The anticipated price for this electric Axopar 25 is €185,000 (ex tax), which looks pretty good value given that the price of the motor alone is €74,900 plus another €69,800 for the batteries. Whether Axopar can maintain, or even reduce, that price once the Evoy Storm enters production in 2024 remains to be seen.

Read more about the Evoy Storm

Tip of the iceberg

If this seems like a lot of choice, there are even more options coming down the pipeline in 2024. MBY understands that several major outboard manufacturers are planning on entering the electric outboard market, so watch this space…

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Electric boats

Flying electric ferries battle to smoothly sail commuters over the wave crests.

Avatar for Micah Toll

As electric boats slowly gain market share among recreational boaters, a different breed of silent, efficient speed boats is now targetting commuters. Hydrofoil electric ferries are coming to a river or lake near you, and multiple companies are working to make it happen.

I’ve had the pleasure of covering electric boats for years, where I’ve seen just about everything the nascent industry has to offer. But it’s the hydrofoil electric boats that are making the biggest departure from the norm.

Compared to traditional V-hull or catamaran vessels routinely used as ferries, hydrofoil boats use significantly less energy to travel the same distance on the water. Hydrofoils, which work like an airplane’s wing placed underwater, lift the entire boat’s hull into the air. With significantly lower resistance, the boat essentially flies while using as little as 20% of the same energy required by a planning boat.

candela p-12 ferry

Hydrofoil boats have been around for decades, but more recent advances have replaced older internal combustion engines with electric motors, taking these boats to the next level.

The biggest name in the game is undoubtedly Stockholm-based Candela , which first sailed its prototype hydrofoil electric boat back in 2016 and has been in production since 2018. The company began with multiple models of electric speedboats for recreational boating. Now, its newest model, the Candela P-12, is going commercial for use as a ferry in rivers, lakes, and archipelagos like around its home waters in Stockholm.

The P-12 has been undergoing water trials since last year , ahead of its first commercial operations.

One of its first operators will employ it on the world’s cleanest lake, Lake Manapōuri in New Zealand, where it is expected to replace 240 tons of CO2 emissions each year by replacing combustion engine boats.

small electric sailboat

While Candela undoubtedly leads the industry, other hydrofoil electric boats have cropped up in the last couple years. Vessev , an Auckland, New Zealand-based startup, has just announced the successful completion of two weeks of intensive water testing for its VS-9 electric hydrofoil ferry.

“We have been pushing the VS—9 less than two weeks after its first flight and she has been ticking all the boxes and more,” announced Vessev CEO Eric Laakmann earlier today. “On some of our test sessions, we had 25 knots gusting 35 with wind waves to match and she was cruising over the waves.

According to the company, which released the video below, the testing occurred in sea states featuring chop and waves averaging around 75 cm (2’6″) and peaking at 100 cm (3’3″).

The VS-9 is designed to transport up to nine passengers, though Vessev claims to be developing a much larger 100-passenger hydrofoil ferry for larger operators.

San Francisco, California-based electric boat startup Navier also plans to target the commercial ferry market with its first model.

Debuted in 2023 , the Navier N30 announced its first official pilot program earlier this year. The hydrofoiling electric boat was said to be partnering with payment platform Stripe to ferry its employees from San Francisco’s outskirts to the downtown area.

The plan would showcase how the normally one-hour drive could be transformed into a much more efficient half-hour ferry ride on a hydrofoil electric ferry.

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Electrek’s Take

I’ve test-driven a few hydrofoil electric boats, and I’ve always been amazed by how easy they are to operate and how smooth the ride is.

On Candela’s electric boats, I’ve been able to cut right across the wakes left by cruise ships while feeling barely a ripple.

Ferries can replace a significant number of cars in waterside cities, but making the experience more pleasant and efficient is key to getting more drivers out of their cars. With hydrofoil electric boats, not only do the journeys use significantly less energy, but they’re also smoother and more enjoyable. I’ll admit to being prone to seasickness, yet I’ve never gotten even a tad bit queasy on a hydrofoil electric boat.

Check out one of my last hydrofoil electric boat test drives below, where I took the Candela C-8 for a spin around Stockholm.

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Electric boats

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries , DIY Solar Power,   The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide  and The Electric Bike Manifesto .

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0 , the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2 , the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission , and the $3,299 Priority Current . But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

You can send Micah tips at [email protected], or find him on Twitter , Instagram , or TikTok .

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    Weight: 27.1kg Power: 750W / 1hp Battery: 1kWh Range: 34nm Price: $1,500. Announced in early 2022 and launched less than a year later, the Mercury Avator 7.5e is the first electric unit from the world's biggest builder of outboard engines.. The whole top plate hinges up to reveal the battery, which can be quickly removed from your electric boat or replaced for convenient charging.

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